Monday, October 20, 2008

Construction starts on Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas

After years of squabbles, negotiations and eminent domain proceedings, the first of four planned downtown Dallas parks – Main Street Garden – is now under construction.

"This is a huge step for downtown and all of Dallas," Mayor Tom Leppert said Friday during a groundbreaking ceremony on the park site, bounded by Main, Harwood, Commerce and St. Paul streets. "This is going to be a very, very special park."

The 1.75-acre, $17.4 million park is slated to open a year from now. Planned amenities include a cafe, fountain, playground, dog run, benches, chairs and tables.

Getting to this point hasn't been easy.

The city this decade found itself condemning buildings and wrangling with historic preservation officials en route to securing ownership of the city block on which the park will sit.

But by last year, Dallas City Hall had obtained the necessary parcels and permits to begin construction of Main Street Garden, which is primarily funded through the city's 2003 and 2006 bond programs.

"This is a dream come true," City Manager Mary Suhm said, "and a dream a long time coming."